Toni Morrison
Collection Development, Featured Titles, Hear Diversity Essential Toni Morrison Audiobooks for Your Collection

Toni Morrison is one of the most celebrated African American writers today. She is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and has won the Nobel Prize. Several of her pieces of fiction populate require reading lists across the country. All of her work, whether fiction or nonfiction, are thought-provoking and powerful. As the New York Review of Books says, “Toni Morrison is not just an important contemporary novelist but a major figure in our national literature.”

So, we’ve selected some of her titles (many read by the author!) that should be in everyone’s collection.

Award-winning narrator Bahni Turpin reads this rich gathering of Toni Morrison’s essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin.

“Brilliantly incisive essays, speeches, and meditations considering race, power, identity, and art… Powerful, highly compelling pieces from one of our greatest writers.”
Kirkus (starred review)

Beloved
Author: Toni Morrison
Read by: Toni Morrison
LISTEN TO A CLIP: ncnhcn

Perhaps the most widely known story–thanks in part to the film adaptation starring Oprah. In Beloved, Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she’s still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died, nameless, and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

“Dazzling. . . . Magical. . . . An extraordinary work.” —The New York Times

The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison
Read by: Toni Morrison
LISTEN TO A CLIP: ncnhcn

The first novel written by Toni Morrison, this is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. She’s a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others–who prays for her eyes to turn blue.

“So precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry.” —The New York Times

A Mercy
Author: Toni Morrison
Read by: Toni Morrison
LISTEN TO A CLIP: ncnhcn

A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and of a daughter who may never exorcize that abandonment.

“It may come as no surprise that Toni Morrison is as thoughtful, dramatic, and poetic a reader as she is a writer. A Mercy reveals itself to the listener in small, significant stages, using imagery far more than simple narrative, and Morrison’s deft reading is an integral part of keeping the listener rapt with attention.” –AudioFile

God Help the Child
Author: Toni Morrison
Read by: Toni Morrison
LISTEN TO A CLIP: ncnhcn

The first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current day; it weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.

“Another unflinching, gorgeously written story.” –San Francisco Chronicle


Continue with your Toni Morrison listen-list by browsing all of her titles on audio.

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